Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1920 (2nd set)

She Had a Question, 1920 (2nd set)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 29, 2009

If you have to ask how to wear a wristwatch … or whether it’s okay to whisper during a musical evening … or why your telephone mouthpiece stinks … well, it’s a good thing you have the “Girl Query” column of the Young Woman’s Journal!


Is it considered good form to even whisper in a concert or musical entertainment? – Margaret.

There are a number of rules governing deportment at musicals, theatres, etc. Late arrivals should not attempt to gain their seats while the orchestra or soloist is playing or singing, nor while the first act of a performance is in progress. If a seat has been gained the instant the performance begins, the new arrival will not remove wraps, open or flutter programs, or cause any commotion whatsoever. It is very bad form to grumble or complain about bad air, heat, acoustics, inability to see the stage, etc. If the entertainment proves dull or disappointing, quietly retire in an interval between numbers. A well-bred person will recognize the claims of others sufficiently to sit still, and refrain from whispering, turning the head backward, fluttering programs, coughing loudly, etc., as any such movement annoys and distracts those who are thoroughly enjoying the program. Criticisms of a pianist or vocalist is extremely bad taste, and though the performer may be objectionable to one person, is deeply appreciated by another. As an entertainment draws to a close, women ofttimes pin on hats, raise their arms in an effort to adjust their wraps, and perhaps hide from view the whole finale of a scene, and thus spoil it for those who wish to hear or see the end. Needless to say, such deportment comes only from the ill-bred or unpolished person.


Which is the proper arm on which to wear a wrist watch? – Mamie.

Wear it on the left arm.


“H.E.” – Yes, the Urim and Thummim was returned to the angel with the plates after the translation was completed.


“Sara S.F.” – Depilatories advertised for the removal of moles are dangerous, frequently eating their way into the flesh, and ultimately forming ulcers. Moles can be removed but only by a competent physician. Superfluous hair cannot be removed successfully or permanently except by the use of the electric needle in the hands of an expert dermatologist.


“Rosebud.” – “Freezone,” obtained at the drug store, is one of the best corn-removers that I know of. Other methods are, scrape a piece of common chalk, put a small portion of it upon the corn and bind it on with a linen rag. Repeat for several days and the corn will come out. Or, a piece of fresh lemon tied on the corn daily will eat into the roots so that in a short time it will come out. Tincture of iodine or aromatic vinegar applied with a wooden toothpick to the corn each night will loosen it, so that after a few days, if bathed in hot water it will come out.

In the future wear well-fitting shoes, discarding high heels or tight shoes!


“Hope.” – To gain friends, you must be friendly and lovable. In order to develop a beautiful character, which makes for friendship, cultivate a quiet behavior and gentle manner. Be kind, polite, refined, gracious, courteous, and unselfish. Modesty is one of the most winning and charmign qualities a girl can possess, so withal be modest. Try to make others happy. You must have the same demeanor at home with your parents, brothers, and sisters, as you have among your boy and girl associates away from home. The true worth of a girl is determined by the love and service she gives out, and the love she wins and holds in her home circle. Your solicitude for, and good will toward others, must be spontaneous and come from within, rather than from outside or surface manners. Hence the necessity of thinking good thoughts, and having pure motives.


“Mary.” – Some months ago we published several cures for warts but perhaps you did not see them or cannot remember them. One of our subscribers has sent in the following to this department: “I wish to offer the remedy I have tried with such good results, having removed forty-three warts, many of them large and seedy, in two weeks’ time. Dip a hat pin in acetic acid and touch the wart, being careful that none gets on the surrounding skin as it smarts.”


“Inez.” – your trouble is similar to that ofr many girls who launder their own handkerchiefs after work. To keep them a “good color” or white and dainty dissolve a teaspoonful of cream of tartar in a quart of hot water, and after washing the handkerchiefs let soak in this bleach for twenty minutes; then rinse and dry. You will be surprised how white and fresh they will be.


“Young Wife.” – If you will put a piece of adhesive plaster over the second joint of the finger when peeling fruit, the knife cannot hurt you.


“Y.” – (1) Cards of announcement are, in no sense, an invitation, but are intended to convey in a courteous manner to the friends of the contracting parties the information of their marriage. It is not customary to send presents, but if one chooses to do so it would be all right.

(2) When you are settled in your new home the ladies of the neighborhood will call, and not until then should you call upon them according to social custom. After two such social chats you will feel quite “at home.”


Is the wearing of high heeled shoes injurious to a girl? – Nannie.

There has been so much said and written against the high heel during the past few years, that one would think all sensible girls would gladly discard them for the sake of health and comfort. Have you ever seen a girl walking with an extremely high heel, that looked as though she really suffered with each step? That tired, distressed expression on her face is more aging in one hour than a week of real hard work. The heel should be wide enough to balance the body, without any undue strain. A girl or woman with feet comfortably shod, appears more at ease and maintains the proper bodily poise.

In a prominent office building in London this notice is posted: “If you are a nice girl you won’t wear high heeled shoes; remember your brain is measured in inverse ratio to the size of your boot heel.”


“Idaho.” – I know of no rule bearing on this particular subject.


“Mrs. A.B.C.” – You are quite right, the telephone ear-piece and transmitter should be thoroughly cleansed frequently to avoid disease. All the medical fraternity are agreed as to this. Quoting from an authority: “The unpleasant odor that lingers about most telephone transmitters, has doubtless been noted by all medical observers; its source and origin involve no deep mystery.” A solution of boric acid, or bicarbonate of soda is a good disinfectant.


“Barbara.” – Consult a good dentist at once, or you may lose some of your teeth, and you must know that sound, clean teeth are a very great asset to any girl. They help socially in having a sweet breath, improve one’s looks, are also an aid to clear speech or enunciation. They save dentists’ and doctors’ bills, are conducive to a good temper, save strength, energy, and time. They help in business life to secure better positions.


“Housewife.” – To make green pepper mangoes, select green peppers of uniform size, cut off top with stem to be used as cap after filling. Remove all seeds, and soak in strong brine for 36 hours; remove, drain, and fill, sew on caps, pack in a stone jar and cover with hot spiced vinegar. Filling: one quart of finely chopped cabbage; one pint chopped onions; one green pepper chopped, soak in salt water 24 hours and drain; add one teaspoonful mustard, one tablespoon each of ground cinnamon and cloves; two pounds sugar; one ounce each of celery seed and white mustard seed and one-half pint vinegar.


“Mrs. M.W.” – You say your grated cheese molds in the glass jar. Try lining the jar with a piece of cheesecloth dipped in vinegar before putting in the cheese. No mold will form and the cheese will not dry out.


“Esther.” – A brace would do no good for your stooped shoulders. You should take proper exercise daily and regularly. If near a gymnasium go there; if not you can strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles by chest-raising and other exercises given in physical culture magazines. Practice holding the head up, chin high, shoulders thrown well back and abdomen drawn in. Walk around your room every day for 20 minutes with a book balanced on your head. if necessary I will mail you some other exercises.


“Vivian.” – Unless a stamped addressed envelope is enclosed for personal reply, letters cannot be answered. This is the rule.


What poet predicted commerce and warfare by airships, and can you give me the poem? – Althea.

The poet Tennyson in his poem “Locksley Hall.”

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, Argosies of magic sails
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales.
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew,
From the nation’s airy navies grappling in the central blue.


“Margaret.” – Yes, there is a “No-Tobacco” league in the state. Michael Mauss is the president. Address Murray, Utah.


“Delia.” – Your nearest living relative being a sister, she and her husband can send the announcement cards reading as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crane
have the honor to announce
the marriage of their sister
Margaret Louise
Mr. David Gordon
on Thursday, Dec. twenty-third
nineteen hundred and twenty
at _____.



  1. I just bought a bunch of Cortland apples for applesauce. I’ll have to try Catherine’s advice to “Young Wife.”

    And about “Rosebud”… Couldn’t she have asked something a bit more romantic than how to treat corns?!

    Comment by Researcher — October 29, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  2. But then we’d have missed the mental image of Rosebud tying fresh lemon to her toe!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 29, 2009 @ 8:08 am

  3. Researcher, how are you going to feel romantic if you have a corn? Better to pluck the corn from your own foot, and then cast aside the evil shoe.

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 29, 2009 @ 8:12 am

  4. Ardis, that is a romantic image, yum!

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 29, 2009 @ 8:13 am

  5. The social norms for attending indoor concerts, plays, etc have certainly gone by the way side. Been to some really nice affairs only to have the event disrupted by rude or uncaring people. I might be quilty of breaking some of those rules not knowing all the thing to do or not to do.
    Green pepper mangoes don’t sound that good from the list provided. I do like this posting, provides some real insight into social history and issues of ‘The Day’.

    Comment by Mex Davis — October 29, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  6. All sorts of random thoughts come to mind:

    – Mex, it sounds as if you’ve been going to concerts with ill-bred and unpolished persons! :-)

    – I do wish that we could get a combination of some of the bits of advice: for the reader who is willing to accept being thought dumb in exchange for great looking legs, how can she wear high heels with a piece of lemon strapped to her foot?

    – I presume that the earlier advice, missed by Mary, on ridding oneself of warts involved dead cats in a graveyard at midnight.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 29, 2009 @ 9:58 am

  7. Mark B – I take it that in your neck of the woods everyone is mannerly and well-bred. I think people just aren’t taught certain things anymore. Entering the Chaple during the passing of the Sacrement, talking during a movie, not offering guest a refreashment, not turning off the TV for the HT, etc. I didn’t know that there was a proper way to wear a wrist watch. Being left-handed I find most of the norms backwards for me anyway.

    Comment by Mex Davis — October 29, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  8. so, teeth ‘help in business life to secure better positions’? Love it!

    Comment by Anne (U.K) — October 29, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  9. Some things are improving — a little — at last week’s Tabernacle concert I only heard one cell phone going off during the program.

    Mex, I like your reaction to the post. If you haven’t seen the others in this series, you might like to read them by going to the Topical Guide (a link on the upper lefthand corner of this page) and searching for “She Had a Question.”

    Anne, have you added “I have teeth” to your business resume this morning? :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 29, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  10. In regards to the “green pepper mangoes”, how does one tell if one’s brine is strong or weak? I am enclosing a self addressed, stamped envelope, unlike that Vivian character….

    Comment by kevinf — October 29, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

  11. Anne, have you added “I have teeth” to your business resume this morning?

    I have not, but every doctor’s CV which appears on my desk or in my Inbox, which makes no glowing reference to the state of their teeth, will be binned immediately.

    Comment by Anne (U.K) — October 29, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

  12. Is Michael Mauss related to Armand?

    Even though the remedies are different, it strikes me that the private concerns of girls this age are rather like those of many today: limited to personal appearance and grooming, social skills, being attractive to boys. I wish some girl back then would ask about, say, women’s voting rights or the war or the League of Nations or some issue of public concern beyond her hair/skin/corns/warts. I think by 1920 this column had sort of set the precedent against such questions, though. Sigh.

    Comment by jeans — October 29, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

  13. Why ask about women’s voting rights in 1920? Women had had the right to vote in Utah (where the majority of the YW Journal’s readers would have lived) since statehood (and before then in territorial days from 1870 until the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887) and the 19th Amendment was ratified (for all the Joanies come lately) in August of 1920?

    Besides, nobody under 21 was voting in 1920, anyway. The likely voters would have been reading the Old Woman’s Journal. :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — October 30, 2009 @ 6:15 am

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